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Analyst Says Sudan Is Saber Rattling - 2004-08-02


The government of Sudan says a UN Security Council resolution giving it 30 days to disarm militias in the western region of Darfur is unrealistic. Officials say they need 90 days. Disarming the militias will likely be problematic. There are several militia groups who fall under the umbrella as ?janjaweed,? as well as Bedouin tribesmen, paramilitary forces and elements from neighboring Chad.

Alex de Waal, a director with the organization Justice Africa in London, says he believes much of the government?s protests amount to saber rattling to save face and that officials could privately consider foreign intervention an advantage.

In addition, De Wall said, ?I don?t think there?s any way that the Sudan government could mobilize any serious response to an international intervention if one were to be mounted at scale.? Problems could arise if the Sudanese army attempts to disarm the janjaweed because many rank and file soldiers are from Darfur, ?which is one reason why the government mobilized the janjaweed because it couldn?t trust its own army in Darfur,? said De Waal.

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